Defeat the Chemical Weapons Treaty

by Phyllis Schlafly

Did we elect a Republican Senate last November or didn’t we? We’ll find out when the Senate votes on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). That will be the first important test of whether or not Republican Senators are willing to stand up for American interests against the internationalist ploys of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright.

If the most conservative Senate in our generation runs from the fight and approves this dangerous, anti-American treaty, you can be assured the Clinton Administration will use it as a prototype to push other dangerous weapons agreements and UN treaties. Secretary Albright is already nagging Senators in behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s two favorite treaties, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on Discrimination Against Women, both of which are bad news for women, children, parents, taxpayers, and freedom in America.

Anyoxie who thinks that the CWC will rid the world of chemical weapons is whistling in the dark. The CWC will actually increase the danger of chemical attack because it would disarm the United States while the rogue countries most apt to use chemical weapons, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya, won’t sign it and wouldn’t be bound by it if they did.

Russia has signed the CWC, but is considered unlikely to ratify it unless the U.S. taxpayers fork out billions of dollars in U.S. aid to pay for the destruction of Russin’s vast existing arsenal. Even then, Russia has a deplorable record of noncompliance with weapons treaties and, considering the shaky state of its government, we’d be fools to trust in future compliance.

One of the big problems with this proposed ban on chemical weapons is that so many chemicals which can be used in weapons are so widely used for commercial purposes that it’s totally impractical to ban them. If a chemical weapon is not listed, then it can’t be banned or controlled by the treaty. Can we be sure that all dangerous chemical weapons have already been invented?

A former Soviet chemical weapons scientist, Vil Mirzayanov, boasted that the Kremlin negotiated loopholes in the treaty so that the list of controlled chemicals does not include several which Russia has developed to make chemicals vastly more lethal. That’s the way foreign governments play games with us in writing treaties.

There’s absolutely no way that the Uaited States or any treaty can enforce, or that U.S. intelligence can verify, a worldwide ban on chemical weapons. Rogue states know that even militarily significant stockpiles are undectable.

Some CWC advocates assert that the treaty’s intrusive inspection system will help us to know more than we would otherwise know. In fact, we’ll probably know less because other governments will conceal noncompliance. We live in a world in which the United States feels bound by treaties but other signatories feel no such compulsion.

Most CWC proponents acknowledge the treaty’s defects but argue that, on balance, it’s still a good idea because it’s a step in the right direction of outlawing dangerous weapons. It’s actually a step in the wrong direction. CWC even obligates the United States to transfer chemical weapons production and defensive technology to States like Iran, Cuba, Russia and China.

Like most of the treaties the Clinton Admiuistration wants the Senate to ratify, it would set up a massive new UN-style international inspection bureaucracy, which, of course, the U.S. taxpayers will have to pay for (estimated at $200 million per year). So what else is new!

To add insult to injury, these newly created UN bureaucrats will immediately acquire the right to visit any site in the United States on including factories, government buildings, and even individual homes. Bye, bye Fourth Amendment when the UN busybodies force American businesses to submit to searches without either probable cause or judicially approved search warrants.

Of course, other countries don’t have protections like our Fourth Amendment, so U.S. constitutional rights always get the short shrift in any treaty.

These inspections will impose a costly burden on U.S. industry. Some 8,000 U.S. companies would become subject to a host of expensive new regulations and reporting requirements. U.S. companies also stand to lose confidential business information from these inspections.

The Clinton Administration is champing at the bit to send the Senate a whole series of global initiatives designed to give Clinton prestige and camaraderie among other heads of state, but which diminish American sovereignty and individual rights. These other initiatives include imposing global taxes to support the UN, controlling the world’s climate and environment, financing family planning and housing for foreign countries, international gun cmtrol, giving the Third World control of our technology to mine the riches of the seas, and giving UN committee of “experts” the authority to dictate relationships between men and woman and between parent and child.

The time and place for the Senate to stand up for Americans is on the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.